Former beauty queen, and current ABC drama go-to-girl, Vanessa L. Williams is opening up about her painful past to People. Williams revealed she was molested at age 10 by a family friend.

“It didn’t paralyze me, and I don’t dwell,” Williams says. Thankfully, she was able to take a horrific event and make it a teachable moment for her four kids. “I was very verbal about it,” she added, “so they knew what to look for”

Below, read an excerpt from her new book, You Have No Idea, co-written by her mother Helen, where she reveals more details of that night.

Family friends who had a daughter invited me to visit their friends in California with them. The family we stayed with had two kids. Susan, who was 18, smoked, drove a car, and was the epitome of cool. (My friend) Nancy and I slept in the den. One night Susan crept in. She told me to lie down on the rug. I was confused. Are we going to play a game? As I tried to make sense of it, Susan pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pajamas.

What are you doing?’ I asked. ‘Don’t worry – it’ll feel good.’ I lay there paralyzed. What was going on? I didn’t speak. She kept at (the molestation) for I don’t know how long. She slid my bloomers back up and whispered: ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ I climbed into my bed, trying to figure out what had just happened.

For years I kept Susan’s visit to myself. I didn’t really understand until college. I was with with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted it out: ‘Oh my god – I was molested!’ After that trip I felt something change in me.


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